Q&A with Kirk Pearce: President's Citation Award Winner and Former Panther

After hearing that Kirk had received the President's Citation, we asked if he could answer a few questions for us...

Kirk, first off congratulations on graduating from Greenville! How does it feel to have your diploma and be moving on to grad school?
It still feels unreal. After four years, it's hard to imagine a life outside of Greenville and without my closest friends, but I'm also really excited to find out what's in store for me as I move forward. As of right now, it still hasn't set in though. It simply feels like another summer break from classes.

You knew going into graduation that you would achieve summa cum laude honors, but were you expecting to be receiving the President’s Citation?
I had absolutely no idea. I assumed that they would notify the recipient beforehand, but it turns out they keep it a surprise. In fact, right before graduation, one of my pre-med friends and I were discussing who we think won the award, but we were certain that it wasn't going to be either of us. It turns out that we were both finalists for the award, and I actually ended up winning it. 

Some people may not know what the qualifications for winning this award are, What are they? 
Greenville College describes the award as follows: "Each year, the award is given to the Greenville College graduating senior who has demonstrated the highest academic achievement in the context of a Christian liberal arts program. To be eligible for this award, the student must have completed a bachelor’s degree program and adhered consistently to the ideals of the institution."

What were your initial thoughts when Dr. Estevez called your name and asked you to come on stage?
Complete and utter shock. Like I said earlier, I was completely blindsided. As he was describing the award, I was eager to hear who had won it, but when he started to announce my name, I couldn't believe it. I graduated among so many phenomenal students, and I was certain that one of them deserved the honor more than I did. While standing on stage receiving the award, I had the realization that if it weren't for the amazing support from my family, coaches, teachers, and friends, I couldn't have accomplished any of it. There were so many times that I felt like quitting on football, on my honors thesis, and even on college as a whole, and if it weren't for the people that God placed in my life and their amazing encouragement, I would have never made it. Any recognition I received has to fall back on everyone who supported me and believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. 

As you move on to the next phase of life, what wisdom or knowledge that you gained in your four years at Greenville will you be taking with you?
The first important thing I've learned is to be humble in everything that I do. It doesn't matter what I accomplish in life, I always have to remember that I wouldn't have made it alone. The true recipients of any award I receive are God and everyone else involved in getting me to that point. I've also learned to put aside my personal views and focus on loving people. Regardless of political or religious beliefs, the question in my mind should always be "How can I love that person or group of people better?". Greenville College has taught me how to respect and understand different perspectives and beliefs even if I disagree with them. Lastly, I learned to never underestimate my capabilities. I would have never imagined myself pursuing a PhD in Chemistry. In fact, I remember thinking how unrealistic that would be. However, I learned that I don't need to be concerned with what my potential is and what is limiting me. If I focus on being the best version of me that I can be, then the results will take care of themselves and I will do far greater things than I ever imagined possible. 

Is there anything you would like to say to upcoming seniors in terms of preparing to graduate?
As cliche as it is, don't miss out on everything that Greenville College has to offer. Take in as much as you can during your last year here. But most importantly, as you move on from GC, remember Christ's commission to his disciples: "Freely you have received, freely give." Whether you acknowledge it or not, you have been extremely blessed to be in the presence of such great faculty, coaches, and friends at Greenville. As you move forward, find a way to be that same blessing to others. 

What are your plans for the upcoming fall semester?

In August, I will move to Blacksburg, Virginia and start taking classes. In addition to taking classes, I'll be teaching undergraduate laboratory courses as well as joining a research group under a faculty member at Virginia Tech. My research will be concerned with high accuracy electronic structure methods. More importantly, I'll be buying season tickets for Virginia Tech football games. I'll also be visiting many former Greenville College Football coaches who are now at Bluefield College in Virginia, about an hour and a half from where I'll be. 

Thanks Kirk for your time and good luck to all of our recent graduates as they move on into the next phase of their lives!


Class of 2019: Chapter 5

Name: AJ Robosa
Hometown: San Diego, CA
High School: Madison High
Position: Middle Linebacker
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Coach Lira: AJ is a big, strong, and athletic linebacker from a very good team and league in Southern California.  We first heard about him at an unsigned California combine coach Flannery attended. AJ will bring great leadership to this freshmen class, and I'm excited to see what he does next fall!
Why did you Choose Greenville: Greenville was just the place to be, the coaches and players treated me as if I have been playing with them for years. I loved the atmosphere on campus and I knew that Greenville would be the best choice for me after I visited. 
Name: Bryson Tyson
Hometown: Enterprise, AL
High School: Enterprise High School
Position: Defensive End
Major: Engineering 
Coach Flannery: It has been a pleasure recruiting Bryson!  He is a physical football player who will make his presence known at the defensive line position!  Bryson has a high motor and has a knack for getting to the football.  It will be a lot of fun to see Bryson develop both on and off the football field. 
Why did you Choose Greenville: The football program stood out to me and they have a engineering program.

Name: Michael Carie
Hometown: Effingham, IL
High School: Effingham High School
Position: Cornerback - Kicker - Punter
Major: Criminal Justice
Coach Lira: Micael is a BIG TIME recruit for us. With his 6'2 frame he can add a physical presence at cornerback! He had 8 picks in his senior year, and field goals up to 40 yards. Excited to see the leadership he brings to the team next fall! 
Why did you Choose Greenville: I chose Greenville, because it's a great school! I really like what the football program had to offer!

Name: Mark Barigye
Hometown: Chico, CA
High School: Pleasant Valley High School
Major: Pastoral Ministries 
Coach Laune:We are very excited for Mark to be a Panther in the fall. He is an outstanding football player with a huge amount of potential. More importantly Mark is exactly the kind of character kid that we look for to build our program on. We can't wait for him to be on campus in the fall.
Why did you Choose Greenville: I chose Greenville because I felt it was the best place for me to grow overall spiritually and mentally. Greenville is a place where students take their walk with Christ serious as well as their academics. I'm very excited to be a part of the student body as well as the football team.

Name: DeAundre Campbell
Hometown: Richmond, KY
High School: North Pole High School (Alaska)
Position: Running back
Major: Business Management
Coach Lira: I am very excited about DeAundre. He possesses dynamic play making ability, great speed, and the ability to break tackles. Those attributes will allow him to become a very good running back for us. DeAundre also knows how to get it done in the classroom. I can’t wait to watch him flourish here at GC.
Why did you Choose Greenville: Greenville is a beautiful place, with nice climate and is also close to family. The football program seems a lot similar to what I grew up with, and makes me feel comfortable about the next four years.


2015 Terminator Olympics: Highlights


Terminator Olympics Winner: Lincoln Johnson


Class of 2019: Chapter 4

Name: John Stanley
Hometown: Bakersfield Ca
High School: Highland High School
Position: Defensive Back
Major: Physical therapy/biology
Coach Schomaker:John is a dynamic athlete and could play for us on either side of the ball.  He was a first team CB in high school and we are excited for him to meet a big need for us in the recruiting process.
Why you choose Greenville: As a senior in High-school I was unable to attend Greenville, but as a freshman in college I gave it another shot. Coach Schomaker was still interested in having me out there. That showed me that Coach Schomaker doesn't only care about his recruits as a player but as a person as well. Then on my official visit I was introduced to the team who considered me as part of the family. That is what was looking for in a team and a coach another home away from away,another family. 

Name: Michael Hernandez
Hometown:  Rialto, California
High School: Eisenhower High School
Position: OL
Major: Criminal Justice
Coach Schoepf:  Im excited that Mike has decided to join the legacy of great offensive lineman at Greenville College! Mike is passionate about the game of football, has a great work ethic and has a great motor on the field! Im excited to see Mike develop over these next four years!
Why did you Choose Greenville: I choose Greenville based on the fact that out of many colleges looking at me, I didn't feel a sense of brother hood as much as Greenville and how they are such a run heavy team so the linemen play a bigger roll overall a program I want to be apart of.

Name: Anthony Andrews
Hometown: Newark, Ohio 
High School: Licking County Christian Academy
Position: OL  
Major: Sports Management
Coach Schomaker: Anthony comes from a great Christian family and will be a tremendous fit for Greenville College.  His athleticism will give him the opportunity to contribute early on as an Offensive Lineman. 
Why did you choose Greenville: because my coach recommended it to me as a good college to look at because of it's Christian atmosphere and it's good football program.  I ultimately chose this school because I liked what it stood for and it's football program.

Name: Ian Bowen
Hometown: Rosamond California 
High School: Rosamond High School
Position: Quarterback
Major: Biology & Exercise science
Coach Schomaker: Ian is the classic dual threat QB that we look for.  He was in a Triple Option offense in high school and that should make for an easier transition.  He is also a tremendous young man and will fit right into the brotherhood here. 
Why did you Choose Greenville: The brotherhood of the football team. Very friendly environment and it was welcoming!

Name: Noah Munsinger
Hometown: Hemet, CA
High School: Hemet High School
Position: Quarterback
Major: Pre-Medicine
Coach Flannery: It was been great recruiting Noah and we are very excited that he will be joining us this fall!  After his visit to GC it was clear that it was going to be a great fit both ways.  I am excited about God’s plan for Noah while he plays football and works towards his degree.
Why did you choose Greenville: To obtain a great, Christian education while also being able to play football for a great team.

Greenville College Football © 2009 by Jered Schneider.